To My Socialist Friends: Democratic Socialism Isn't 'Real Socialism' ...So What?

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The term 'Socialism' has overcome its stigma, but Capitalism is not going away by decree. It's going to take decades

All leftists understand the destructive nature of Capitalism. We're not trying to preserve Capitalism, we want to alleviate the suffering it causes. We recognize Capitalism is deeply embedded in the culture, it is the most normative of norms. 'Abolishing' Capitalism will be like trying to crumble Mt. Everest with sledge hammers. Capitalism won't fall away by electing the right people. But vote anyway. It won't be made illegal, as much as we would like it to be.

Our strategy should be educating the public, organizing our communities, building Socialist alternatives in our communities, like worker co-ops.
We will not go from the Capitalist world we live today to Marx's, Proudhon's, or Bakunin's vision in a few years. It will take lifetimes. We must start somewhere, we must start now.
We must be active in the process. To withdraw, and not participate, assures Capitalist suffering continues and intensifies.
Mikhail Bakunin said:
“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.”

Leftist cynicism is the worst form of boot-licking. Pessimistic withdrawal, reducing ones activism to shouting Marxist quotes on social media, from the sideline, without direct action to further the ideas, is egoic and defeatist. Bernie Sanders isn't perfect, he's better. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez isn't perfect, she's better. Leftist ideas are in the mainstream now, embrace those that carry the standard, not make them perfect, not because you 100% agree with everything they say.
Just because they're better than the status quo. If you're not participating, but waiting for the perfect super-hero destroyer of Capitalism, you're hindering progress.

We Socialists still have much to hash out. We need to decide what role the state plays in our vision. We have to pry Capitalism's grubby, greedy, fingers off the mechanism of the state. That is a lifetime endeavor. We need to decide what is an acceptable level of private ownership, not to be confused with personal possessions. How do we keep Socialist principle from being co-opted by the state and used for one party state oppression of the people. How to keep democracy at the core of Socialist principle, how do we avoid Socialism being hi-jacked by Authoritarianism?

Socialism should rise from the people, its implementation should be owned by the people. For that to happen we need to be seen as an element of the electorate, even though elections won't ultimately give us what we want. We can use elections to move the Overton Window, and direction of economic governance, to the left. Make the national discussion about the irreparable inequities and eco-destruction of Capitalism, to see 'Capitalist reform' as necessary to the process of ending Capitalism forever, sending it to the garbage dump of history.
That won't happen tomorrow, but it can happen for our off-spring. Make ours a work for the ages...
" A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Solidarity, One Love...

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